Insta-updates: The bubble tea phenomenon

by Paris B on · 60 comments

in Photos

bubble tea

Locally, bubble tea has become a huge phenomenon with queues everywhere for teas from Chatime, Gong Cha and the like. Are you a fan?

Are you a fan of these bubble milk teas? I’m not. The milk teas interfere with my lactose intolerancy and I just generally am not into artificially flavoured drinks. When I do take these (rarely), I take lemonade or a clear tea drink. It can sometimes be very refreshing icon smile Insta updates: The bubble tea phenomenon

Are you a bubble tea expert/fan? Which flavour or brand is your fave?

Paris B

Insta-updates: insights into life as extracted from my Instagram timeline. Find me there at PARISBMWS.

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[ 60 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Evelyn Chang April 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I’m a fan of bubble tea though I have lactose intolerant too, but sometimes is too hard to resist, will try my best to consume it less as it is not so healthy to drink it all the time. =)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Yeah I personally have a thing against it because of the chemicals that go into it in the powders and such. But can’t blame people for enjoying it because it is quite nice once in a while :D I usually go for the clear ones or the ones with jelly. Its refreshing and I don’t get an upset tummy!

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Lisa April 27, 2012 at 1:44 am

Same here. I don’t enjoy it much as it gets me lactose induced symptoms. Other dairy products don’t get me in such a quick fix as a bubble milk tea. It is tasty though. So once in a long, long while, i do enjoy a clear bubble tea and only from selected stores.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

I do clear bubble tea too :D I’m not a fan of the milky taste I guess :D

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Noelle April 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

It used to be a staple for me until I heard a rumor that some of the flavoring ingredients and the tapioca bubbles are toxic and very harmful to health. Not sure how much of it is true but better safe than sorry.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I don’t think they are toxic per se, but I personally believe that because a lot of it is chemically enhanced or flavoured, its not good for us to indulged in it too much and too often. So I only do the actual teas or fruit flavours but even then, only very rarely :)

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Coming from Taiwan, I’d be damned to say I don’t dig this stuff lol

I really like the tea latte type of things. You know, when you mix REAL milk with tea! And the chewy little pearls yum yum yum! Can’t wait to go home and get some!
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Haha indeed! I can’t imagine if you didn’t like these :D I notice that the phenomenon is slowly creeping into the Western world so I’m sure you will find a bubble tea counter on your doorstep in Belgium very soon ;)

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 4:21 am

But it’s never going to be the same! I actually had some in New York’s Chinatown last year, and it wasn’t the most impressive I’ve had.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:19 am

Ooh really? Even the chain ones?

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Sunny
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Yup. MAYBE I ordered the wrong thing, but I did go to a chain that started in Taiwan, and it’s not really the same. I’m not going to complain though. It’s nice to find bubble tea AT ALL outside of Taiwan!
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Jenn
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 4:47 pm

When the bubble milk tea craving attacks, nobody stands between me and my pearly fix. lol.

Seriously though, for some reason i much prefer the taste of the RM2.50 pasar malam ones to the “branded” ones i’ve tried. Maybe i’m not a fan of English tea to begin with. I always tell the lady to “extra kao” and omit the sugar! Yum! :D

Eh seeing your picture makes me miss the Ochado Lychee Aloe drink i had in KL awhile ago! :D
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Haha! I remember seeing the stalls in pasar malam too! I would always wonder what the colourful powders were :P That might be why I’m quite leery of these drinks :P This was my first time trying Ochado. I had the Lemonade and it tasted like “kai chai shiun mui” even with the asam boi inside :D

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synical
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I’m into it… to a point. My lactose intolerance is such that I can’t do carbonara or full fat milk, but whatever else goes… I think: teh susu all still ok.

I usually do non milk teas as the milk teas are not khau enough – teh ais bubble tea, now there’s an idea.

Anyhow, bubble tea still cheaper than Starbucks/Coffee Bean and great for the orally-fixated :P
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Haha yes! You are right that its cheaper than the designer coffees. I can’t do carbonara anymore either. Not a full plate. Makes my tummy turn and to think I really enjoyed eating and cooking carbonara! I’d use double cream even :P

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Julia April 26, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I like Bubble Tea (although it depends on where you buy it, some are a bit… too sweet), but I’m not too fond of the classic milk and tapioka combination. I prefer fruity green teas with aloe very jelly. Call me weird if you want to! :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

That’s not weird Julia – thats the one I prefer too! No milk, just jelly in fruity tea :D Many bubble tea joints now allow you to customize your sugar levels so you can opt from as low as 10% I think, to erm… 90%? Hehe…

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Mira
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I LOVE bubble tea. ^^ My fav is the CupBon. The chewy pearl is sooo nice, but the magic ball that bursts out yogurt is much2 better! everytime i bite on it, it burst!!! just like magic! ok, i’m exaggerating, but that’s just how much I love it. Chatime and CoolBlog also nice. My fav flavors are yam, vanilla & chocolate. Ok, now I’m craving for one!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:50 pm

haha! That yogurt magic ball sounds very interesting! I’ll have to give it a go some day, even if I’m not much of a fan of these :D

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Ny April 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm

I like the grass jelly range, yumyum. Chatime will be having buy 1 free 1 promotion next week, yeah!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Ooh! I’m sure fans of Chatime will be lining round the block for the Buy 1 Free 1 promotion! As it is, the lines are already quite mad :P

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synical
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Only the Chatime in downstairs Midvalley has crazy long lines. It depends on where you are; the one near the cinema is still bearable.
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

Ahhh ok I only ever see the lines at the Chatime downstairs of MV. I also see lines at other Chatime outlets though but sometimes I think its a ploy because you have to wait for your tea so maybe that’s why there’s a queue LOL

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electronicfly
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Bestestes ever: Yippie Cup Lemon/Lime with pearl, Extra Large. Sigh I miss Yippie Cup =/

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

What a cute name! And Lemon/Lime with pearl sounds delicious and refreshing. Am not much a fan of pearls but the lemon bit is good :D

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Applegal April 26, 2012 at 6:43 pm

I love my chatime pearl milk tea/roasted milk tea, and gong cha’s signature winter melon tea. Can’t get enough of the salty milk froth on top. BUT they’re all so FATTENING! Unless you get green tea with no sugar or something :P

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

LOL I can imagine! Another reader mentioned it has over 500 kcal in a cup? Eeks! :P

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Jyoan April 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm

I love Gong Cha Purple Plum Tea no milk no sugar, and their Fresh Milk with Herbal Jelly, and Earl Grey with 3Js.

And I love Koi’s Macchiato.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

Sounds like you’re an expert on the bubble teas :D I remember when I was in Singapore seeing so many shops/counters selling these. Its just come in and people are just as mad for it here :P

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Jyoan April 27, 2012 at 10:55 pm

haha, that’s because bubble tea has been around for a long time now. I was skeptical about Koi at first, until I drank the Macchiato, and there was no turning back.

Gong Cha is really good because their tea are considered real-brewed. And they are actually almost boiling hot until you order them. And that’s the reason why they put ice for all the teas, and you can always say “no ice” without worrying they will cut your drink.

The Purple Plum really has a plum inside, and one of the most real teas, where you can taste natural taste, not some sugared powder… … But you’d have to somewhat like sourness to like this.

Gong Cha’s herbal jelly is so soft you can’t find it anywhere else. I am always paying $3.40 for fresh milk which I can buy at supermarket, but it’s really only because I want the herbal jelly.

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j3nny9irL April 26, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Ok it’s been a long time since i last commented… and food interest me :P I tried ochado and chatime but i didn’t like it… The pearls didn’t soak long enough and the teas are just too ‘gao’ – strong… omg… I still go back to my friend’s shop at Sunway Mentari coz she’s a distributor and her pearls are fresh coz overnight pearls are yuck… and costs only RM2.80 for the original milk tea :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:47 am

Hi stranger LOL! :D We all love food here, it seems. I don’t usually take the drinks with pearls. I don’t quite like the pearls for some reason so I go for the jelly ones when I do drink :D But its great to know that you have a place you can go to for cheap drinks with good pearls!

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Adrianna April 26, 2012 at 7:43 pm

I’m a big fan of bubble tea. My fave is Chatime followed by GongCha and I’ll end up getting a cup everytime. Heck, there is one in Puchong opposite the place where I go for dance class, talk about the convenience!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

Oh dear! Sounds like its too convenient hehe…

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Saphy
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I haven’t drank Bubble tea for a very long time, partly because they’re quite expensive :/

Chatime’s milk tea is quite nice :3 but I always opt for 30% or 50% sugar :x

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

I go for 30% or even 25% sugar too. Can’t bear anything too sweet

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cc April 26, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Guilty!! Chatime #11 and make it large please!
But lately I’ve been cutting down.. Read from somewhere that a normal Pearl Milk Tea is a whopping 540 in calories! Can someone clarify this?
Now, considering that there are 139 calories in a can of 330ml Coca?Cola.. *sweat*

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:48 am

I don’t know how many calories a cup contains but over 500 is scary! Imagine how much exercise you’d have to do to burn that off ;)

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germs April 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

i used to love milk tea with pearls.. until i choked on a couple of pearls after trying hard to suck them up through the straw and they rushed straight into my throat. not a pretty sight :( i do think it’s not worth the money though.. you can easily buy a bowl of noodles for that price!
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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 9:50 am

Wow! Ok that’s seriously dangerous, seeing that some of the pearls are quite large! :P I’m personally not into sugar/flavoured drinks myself so yeah, I’d probably put the money towards a bowl of noodles :D But once in a while, I think its alright… just stay away from the pearls k? ;)

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Jennifer April 26, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I like the milk tea with pop eggs from Ochado and Earl Grey Milk Tea with brown sugar jelly from Gong Cha. Chatime is so so…Lol, I am quite a bubble tea junkie other than coffee addict as well :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:09 am

Sounds like you are quite an expert! Now I’m curious to see what pop eggs are hehe…

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Megan
Twitter:
April 26, 2012 at 10:27 pm

I love Bubble Tea and I am mildly lactose intolerant yet I don’t have an issue with the milk teas, my fave is Almond Milk with Pearls!

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

Ahh there’s probably not enough milk in there hehe… good to know it doesn’t affect you Megan :D

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Jesz April 27, 2012 at 9:14 am

I’m not a fan of ‘bubble’ tea…if I crave for milk tea, I’d rather go to mamak stall for a ‘teh tarik kurang manis’ or ‘teh halia kurang manis’, cheaper and found it taste better…lols. Taking lesser dairy product nowadays coz i have mild lactose intolerance, glad to know that i’m not the only ‘weird’ one in town with lactose intolerance…wonder how I could take it during teenage time when i drank milk everyday and stomach still appear ok…

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:27 am

I developed lactose intolerancy in adulthood too! Used to eat lots of dairy but now I steer clear. I’ve read that its not unusual to develop lactose intolerancy as adults and also, that Asians are more likely to be lactose intolerant. But that’s just what I’ve read – many people I know still enjoy their milk and cheeses :)

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Samantha April 27, 2012 at 10:18 am

i stay off from these bubble milk tea for a long time and After watching a HK program on Astro WLT which showed that almost the whole content can be fake and most manufacturers for the sake of profit use artificial stuffs. It is a bit disturing to know that these shops are mushrooming on almost every corner of shops esp on Chinese populated areas. Maybe its an exaggeration but me thinks, there are maybe some additives on it that makes ppl addicted to it :-p

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

LOL I have the same suspicion you do :P There was that scare about chemicals in the powders quite recently but it doesn’t seem to stop people from drinking it. I think its also to do with perceptions like its a hit in Taiwan and Hong Kong so everyone wants to follow suit :P

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Cas April 27, 2012 at 12:09 pm

I’m a major fan! Always need my Chatime fix whenever I drop by to Mid Valley. I stick to their milk tea but try to avoid the pearls after reading about how much chemicals it used but sometimes I do get it just for the heck of it. I also think its very affordable that’s why people are drawn to it.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 29, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Affordable enough for a quick pick me up drink I guess :) I usually pass up the teas for the freshly squeezed juices at the fruit shop in the Gardens where the juices of the day are RM5 :)

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plue
Twitter:
April 27, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Gong-cha thank you! I like Cha Time’s lychee/ yoghurt series but that’s about it :)

I hardly drink em now cuz it’s a bit too sweet. Sticking to my normal tea.

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I think that Gong Cha/Chatime debate will continue to the end of time LOL! I don’t drink enough of either to compare – most of the time, the queues put me off so I don’t even bother :P

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plue
Twitter:
May 2, 2012 at 11:20 am

Haha both brands got it’s pros & cons, but yeah, the queue is crazy, especially on weekends and holidays!
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Mee April 29, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Bubble tea is quite new in Germany! I think there haven’t been any bubble tea shops here until… maybe one year ago? I have tried one drink so far, and I must say, I like it. But I am a bit concerned about some ingredients, too… nevertheless, I think if you drink once in a while it shouldn’t be too bad. And the original idea of mixing tea and those bubbles is quite funny! (:

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Paris B
Twitter:
April 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm

The fact is, you have them there now Mee and that’s pretty amazing! Tells you this is a worldwide phenomenon LOL!

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vivavoomz May 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

I used to drink bubble tea many years ago. Back then it’s really simple. Just green tea or red tea with honey and pearls or just ice blended mango with pearls. Now they have so many varieties. Ever since the bubble tea craze came back, I’ve not tried it. Not a fan of milk tea and now i prefer hot tea.

Bubble tea is actually high calories. Way too much. It’s all in the pearls even if you cut down on the sugar or the milk. It’s actually better you are not addicted to it.
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Paris B
Twitter:
May 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

I did notice this sudden revival of bubble tea too! It was quite popular many years ago then fizzled out and now its back again. Definitely tells you that trends are cyclical :)

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Sam
Twitter:
May 3, 2012 at 11:25 am

I love Bubble Tea. Don’t always have the milk ones though – I like lychee with lychee jelly.
I am known at my local bubble tea place *blush*

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Paris B
Twitter:
May 3, 2012 at 11:57 am

Lychee with Lychee jelly sounds absolutely deliciosu! I love Lychee flavours :D

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